Royal family: Prince William and Kate Middleton’s huge country mansion where one of his best friends lived before him

When you think of the houses belonging to the royal family, the first ones that probably come to mind are Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace. But what about the others?

The royal family owns properties across the country, many of which were purchased with private funds. Although you may associate various mansions with certain members of the royal family, did you know that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can appropriate three royal residences? Considered their favorite property, Anmer Hall was a wedding gift to the couple from the Queen and is located in Norfolk. Find out everything here and why Prince William’s close friend lived there before him.

Anmer Hall is an 18th century red brick house in the village of Anmer in Norfolk, England. It is located on the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate and is 12 miles northeast of King’s Lynn and two miles east of the Queen’s main residence at Sandringham House.

The present house is described as being of late Georgian design, but it could have been built earlier around a pre-existing smaller house. King Edward VII purchased Anmer Hall in 1898 from Ernest Terah Hooley. It had originally been the seat of the Coldham family from 1705.

READ MORE: Royal family: The seriously pampered lives of the Queen’s Corgis – from flying on her private jet to having their own personal chef

Anmer Hall is the couple’s favorite home

From 1972 to 1990 the house was rented to the Duke and Duchess of Kent. The house was rented by two other families between when subsequent tenants moved in, including the family of Hugh van Cutsem. The van Cutsem family have many close ties to the royal family and are often photographed together.

Hugh van Cutsem was close friends with Prince Charles during their college days and his four sons (Edward, Hugh, Nicholas and William) acted as close friends with Prince William and Prince Harry for many years. Edward van Cutsem served as pageboy at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, while his brother Hugh made Prince William godfather to his eldest daughter Grace.

Nicholas van Cutsem was invited to act as godfather to Prince Louis and William assumed the role at Prince George’s christening. In January 2013, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were presented with Anmer Hall by the Queen as a wedding gift.

Max Momby/Indigo/Getty Images
Prince William is a very close friend of the van Cutsem family

Extensive renovations have been carried out including a new roof, conservatory, new kitchen and a major tree planting program to provide the Duke and Duchess with more privacy.

The renovations totaled £1.5million and were paid for using private funds from the Royal Family.

The family lived in Norfolk full time between 2015 and 2017 while Prince George attended nursery school near Westacre Montessori School.

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The Cambridge family’s main residence is now Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, which was previously where Princess Margaret lived.

They also have access to the secret Tam-Na-Ghar cottage on the Balmoral estate in Scotland.

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